MILFORD — Pike County’s Marcellus Shale Task Force is preparing for the anticipated increase in gas drilling in the county.
“Right now, only about 1,000 acres have been leased in Pike County, but in future there will be more,” said Sally Corrigan of the Pike county Planning Office.
The Task Force’s first meeting, in January, was mainly organizational, she said. The Planning Office is going to provide coordination and administrative support for the task force.
“Marcellus Shale gas drilling will eventually come to Pike County,” continued Corrigan, “and this is an important step for the Pike County communities.”
Emergency Management Services representative Roger Maltby serves on the task force as EMS services have to be prepared to handle any possible emergencies associated with the drilling. Maltby declined to comment.
All three Commissioners, Richard Caridi, Karl Wagner, and Harry Forbes who created the Task Force were present at the initial meeting, said Corrigan. Commissioner Caridi is the Chair of the Task Force.
Peter Wulfhorst of the Penn State Cooperative Extension said the initial meeting was a discussion of logistics , including the committee structure. “The reason why the group was formed was to gather info about the topic and to keep abreast of the curve, if and when things happen in the future,” he continued.
According to Wulfhorst, Pike County wants to be informed and prepared for gas drilling, currently a big issue in Pennsylvania. He continued, “There is danger to the environment. Methane has been seeping into the water in some areas, and there’s a possibility of road damage from increased heavy traffic. Expansion of pipe lines to transport the gas is also in direct correlation to gas drilling.”
The group’s next meeting is April 27. All meetings take place in the Pike County Administrative Offices. The Task Force web site is http://www.pikepa.org/marcellus.html